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Evolution in RuneScape?

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Inque
Nov Gold Premier Club Member 2013

Inque

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In real life, organisms can take hundreds of millions of years to change and become the way they currently are. Humans are estimated to have become a species of their own around 315,000 years ago.

315,000 years. That's a long time. Dozens of time longer than the oldest human civilizations we know of.

Guthix only found Gielinor and introduced life to it 12,000 years ago. Civilization on other planets existed for longer, but that's still maybe only 20,000-30,000 years of history. That's nowhere near enough time for anything to evolve, and certainly nowhere near millions of years!

So did nothing have to evolve or change first? Nothing's ever changed from the way they were when the Elder Gods first created everything as they currently are in an instant?

We keep asking for Fossil Island, but since fossils take 10,000 years to form, there won't be too many to dig up!
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21-Feb-2018 08:37:15 - Last edited on 22-Feb-2018 07:59:36 by Inque

AesirWarrior
Nov Member 2017

AesirWarrior

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There are a few sparse references in-game to Gnomes and Humans having a common ancestor, or to Humans being related to monkeys, so Evolution has been hinted at if nothing else. Nevertheless it's worth noting that life forms very differently in the RS universe than in Real life. Complex life is (generally) the result of an imbalance of the Anima-Mundi. I think that if "Evolution" exist it has more to do with magical energies coalescing over time, eventually gaining physical form, rather than a biological process. In my mind Runespan creatures would be akin to the earliest forms of life, their energy not being as closely tied to matter as more developed creatures like humans.

Still, it's not unfeasible that the universe could have existed for millions, if not billions of years. The only thing contradicting it is Top Trumps, which doesn't appear to be hard-canon.

21-Feb-2018 11:29:45 - Last edited on 21-Feb-2018 12:18:46 by AesirWarrior

Penny Drakis
May Member 2015

Penny Drakis

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"Evolution" happened on other worlds, whether or not it was assisted or accelerated by anima imbalances. Gielinor's biosphere was mostly all plants when Guthix found it, if I remember it right. The fairies had already colonized Zanaris, though, and were probably exploring Gielinor too.

Almost everything on Gielinor is an invasive species, I imagine, brought over by gods who thought they could improve the place, Guthix included.
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21-Feb-2018 14:04:45

Hguoh
Mar Gold Premier Club Member 2014

Hguoh

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The elder gods made basic life forms on the planes they created (plants, whatever equivalents to them Infernus has, etc...). During their creation, they were confronted by the Dragonkin, whose home they had recently 'made uninhabitable.' The meeting did not go well, and the Dragonkin were bound to the Catalyst. Once the elders created Gielinor, their perfect world, they slept leaving the kin to their own business.

At some point, either while the elder gods were creating this cycle or after, Mah awoke and created Zaros for company. When he tried to leave, she created Seren, and bound the two so that they'd be unable to leave her. There they stayed for an untold period of time.

It is this period, after the elders went to sleep and before Zaros left Freneskae, that would comprise the lion's share of this cycle's lifetime. Aeons passed, life evolved new forms. Some came about naturally, whilst others were 'aided' in the process by Dragonkin experimentation or other magical sources.

The ancestors of humans evolved on Teragard. And through exposure to the Schism (perhaps accidental, perhaps religious offerings to the 'consuming lightning,' perhaps as executions), they would find themselves on other planes. On planes that were hospitable enough and managed to accrue enough of these beings in a short enough period, a population would take hold and develop separately from those back on Teragard.

Fast forward, and we see the rise and fall of sapient races throughout the planes. Humans arising on Teragard, elves on Tardiad, Aviansie on Abbinah, the succession of demons on Infernus, etc... Sometime during this, we see Zaros leave Freneskae and begin exploring the elder gods works from the beginning of this cycle. We see individuals of these sapient races stumble across artifacts of incredible power who rise to become gods.

21-Feb-2018 18:15:36

Hguoh
Mar Gold Premier Club Member 2014

Hguoh

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We see these gods build great civilizations, and we see other cut them asunder. We see times of great progress, and times of great calamity. We see denizens of planes invading other planes only to fall (to infighting or to another threat). We see gods rise and fall, each one trying to change their world(s) to their ends in their way.

From this chaos, planar empires rise. The likes of Bandos and Saradomin rise in power, conquer planes, limit the activities of lesser gods, and spread their chosen races. It would be during this period that we finally have the Naragi God Wars and Guthix's ascension to godly status (meanwhile Zaros is building bureaucracies in the lower planes, while Seren frolics with her soulbound elves).

Guthix then spends who knows how long exploring the various planes of the universe. He meets Seren, talks with her over a cup of tea, and leaves to explore more. He returns to Seren often to tell her about his travels, making their dates a regular thing (albeit likely having centuries or millennia between them). He explores farther and further desperate to have things to talk with her about that will impress her (and so he doesn't have to talk about his feelings).

He finds the elder gods' crumpled up snack wrappers, he finds more odd worlds and races, and finally, he finds Gielinor. Thinking this would be a good home, he goes and brings his friends to stay there, remembers his girlfriend Seren, and invites her there too.

And that's where we finally get to the timeframe the OP posted.

Then there's also the possibility of engineered life. The Dragonkin could have been doing it since they were enslaved, we know humans did it for farm animals and pets (so others probably did too), Chthonian demons could modify what traits their spawn would have, and magic could very well drive changes in an accelerated manner.

There is a lot of room for evolution to have occurred in the RS universe.

21-Feb-2018 18:38:45 - Last edited on 21-Feb-2018 18:42:53 by Hguoh

Elf of Seren
Nov Gold Premier Club Member 2012

Elf of Seren

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I mean, technically, selective breeding is a type of artificial evolution, so Bandos took a good hand in making the Fyargs, Ourgs, and others.

Evolution can certainly be speed along under the right circumstances (see bacteria and antibiotics), so it wouldn't surprise me if Anima somehow sped stuff up according to the shape of the Elders (Mah is humanoid, TokHaar are humanoid, so the anima could be biased towards that general shape for intelligent life? idk just an idea).

Since we actually have intelligent creators, we could be a literal case of "intelligent design", but given that life is an accident, I would find that difficult to believe, unless Mah had somehow downloaded designs onto The Template, and it somehow leads evolution in that way.

Regardless, tho, there is literally no reason why survival of the fittest wouldn't exist in this universe, thus no reason for evolution to not exist in some form.
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22-Feb-2018 04:36:34

Inque
Nov Gold Premier Club Member 2013

Inque

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Really interesting points, everyone. I think my main question is how old the entire universe actually is. I get the feeling that it's a few hundred thousand years at most, but knowing about all the magic and anima and stuff, it can be reasoned that any "evolution" (any events on a cosmic scale, even) doesn't take as long as it does in the real world. I think.
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22-Feb-2018 07:52:17

Adventurerrr
Jan Gold Premier Club Member 2018

Adventurerrr

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Inque said:
Really interesting points, everyone. I think my main question is how old the entire universe actually is. I get the feeling that it's a few hundred thousand years at most, but knowing about all the magic and anima and stuff, it can be reasoned that any "evolution" (any events on a cosmic scale, even) doesn't take as long as it does in the real world. I think.


Including the cycle? Yeah Jagex wont give us a number. This current cycle? yeah too old to count
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22-Feb-2018 15:24:00

Naval Pupper
Jan Gold Premier Club Member 2019

Naval Pupper

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The oldest of icyene are stated to be hundreds of thousands of years old (revealed in the most recent RuneFest if I recall), so at the very least, this universe is... hundreds of thousands of years old. More likely in the millions, given that Hallow is a higher plane, so it's "newer" and yet still hundreds of thousands of years old. And then there's the time it would have taken for icyene to arise at all.

The Anima of a planet drives development of sentient/sapient lifeforms, so they have a sort of sped-up evolution, and for some reason they're generally driven towards bipedal forms.
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22-Feb-2018 15:48:49 - Last edited on 22-Feb-2018 16:00:01 by Naval Pupper

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